Q&A: Victoria Mitchell
Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.
Victoria Mitchell is a commercial real estate sales associate for Ben M. Muller Realty Co.
The firm is one the oldest privately owned commercial brokerages and development firms in Grand Rapids.
Mitchell focuses her efforts on office and retail transactions in the disposition/acquisition of property and tenant/landlord representation.
Biggest career break?
I was a senior at Grand Valley State University, majoring in communication studies and public relations with a minor in political science. I was working part time for Ben Muller Realty Co. in their marketing department with no prior knowledge of real estate. Less than 12 months of being in the marketing department, the president of the company called me in his office and asked if I wanted to get my real estate license and move into sales. It was one of the scariest, yet most rewarding opportunities I was ever given. As an industry historically dominated by men, it never crossed my mind to have a career in sales for a commercial real estate brokerage. I recently celebrated five years in the industry and am proud of the strides forward our industry has made welcoming diversity and new generations into the West Michigan commercial real estate community.
Professional: Winning the West Michigan Commercial Alliance of Realtors Top Leaderboard award for shopping centers. The award is given to the West Michigan Realtor who procures the most transactions in a given year for retail shopping centers.
Personal: Being elected to the Bissell Pet Foundation Board. I am dedicated to the process of exposing puppy mills and raising funds to assist shelters, rescues and other animal welfare organizations. My goal is to ultimately ensure that overpopulation is curbed and all homeless pets find a home. Adopt, don’t shop!
Best advice you’ve ever received?
SLOW DOWN. I tend to do everything fast and with high intensity. Two simple words that I believe a lot of people need to hear more often.
How did you make your first dollar?
The standard lemonade stand at my parents’ garage sales! I used to make little hemp bracelets that I would sell along with the lemonade. My first real job was as a lifeguard at a country club, which basically consisted of laying in the sun with my best friends, so that was a nice introduction into the workforce.
Can I have three? My fiancé, Erik, and two rescue dogs, Lemon and Oliver.
I think I’m in it! Working in real estate gives an amazing life balance of career, concern and home life. I enjoy getting up and going to work every morning, which I cherish, and I’m continually working on new and different projects. Being able to have a hand in the development arm of the company gives me the ability to impact our community in extremely fulfilling ways.
If I were president for a day, I would…?
That’s a loaded question due to the current political climate. I’ll just stick with taking a ride on Air Force One.
Last book you’ve read?
“Shoe Dog” by the creator of Nike, Phil Knight
Last thing you Googled?
Your worst habit?
Spending too much time on Instagram and Pinterest trying to mentally make over my house.
To unwind, I like to…?
I take advantage of the great state that we live in. I’m a lake girl and love spending time on the water. I’m a big advocate of the power of yoga, meditation and if all else fails, a nice glass of red wine.
I have been fortunate enough to have some pretty dreamy vacations, but I still have a lot on my list to knock off! London has always been number one on my list. Something about the consistent rain coming down and sipping tea seems so cozy. Ireland because I’m of Scotch-Irish decent and Argentina for the Malbec and beef. Anywhere with great food, art and architecture!
I’m a huge foodie, so I enjoy going out to eat and supporting local restaurants. Gnocci, duck, pickled beets, anything with avocado. My guilty pleasure is frying up smoked sausage and popcorn, extra butter please.
Person you most admire?
Can I change that to people? I find people fascinating, and I think taking as much from each person you encounter in your life is important.
I admire my mother’s strength and my dad’s cool-as-a-cucumber relaxing nature. My fiancé’s sense of humor and ability to make me believe I can do anything I set my mind to. My colleague, Elliot Muller, for teaching me the ropes of the real estate industry and making me as passionate as he is about what we do every day. Ben Muller Realty’s president, Mark Muller, for being an amazing mentor and dictionary (the man’s vocabulary is that of Webster himself). Lastly, my grandfather, Willard Orrick, for passing on the sales gene.